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USA Today

The Washington Commanders have released strong safety Landon Collins, a three-time Pro Bowler who was midway through a six-year, $84 million deal with the club. Collins confirmed to CBS Sports NFL insider Josina Anderson that the breakup was over a contract dispute. 

“They asked me to take a pay cut,” Collins said. “The first one was fine. Then they asked me to take another one. The money changed after they signed Carson Wentz. I’ll just take my chances in free agency.”

The Giants’ second-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, Collins was a Pro Bowler in three of his first four seasons. He earned his first All-Pro nod in 2016 after setting career highs with five interceptions, 13 passes defended, four sacks and 125 tackles. A torn Achilles wiped out more than half of Collins’ second season with Washington. He returned to play in 13 games last season, tallying 81 tackles, two interceptions, three sacks and two fumble recoveries. Collins played in a hybrid safety-linebacker role given Washington’s injuries at linebacker. 

In 94 total games, the 28-year-old defensive back has 11 interceptions, 39 passes defended, seven forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, 10 sacks and 676 tackles. 

Collins will hit the open market with less than a week to go before the official start of free agency. He is undoubtedly the most talented strong safety who will be available on the market. Other strong safeties who are expected to be available in free agency include Quandre Diggs, Kareem Jackson, Keanu Neal, and Daniel Sorensen. 

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